January 2-8, 2023: Poetry from Wendy Videlock and Ron Kolm

Send us your poetry. Click here for submission guidelines.

Wendy Videlock

Wendy Videlock lives on the edge of a canyon on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies. Her poems and essays appear in Poetry, O Magazine, Best American Poetry, Ted Kooser’s ALP, Hudson Review, The New York Times, Rattle, Hopkins Review, and other venues. Her books are available from Able Muse and EXOT Books. Wendy is also a visual artist, whose paintings feature in galleries throughout western Colorado.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Wendy Videlock and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


I should be diligent and firm,
I know I should, and frowning, too;
again you’ve failed to clean your room.
Not only that, the evidence
of midnight theft is in your bed —
cracked peanut shells and m&m’s
are crumbled where you rest your head,
and just above, the windowsill
is crowded with a green giraffe
(who’s peering through your telescope),
some dominoes, and half a glass
of orange juice. You hungry child,

how could I be uncharmed by this,
your secret world, your happy mess ?



Today I saw a praying mantis
in the grass.
I thought it strange the way her face
was turned toward mine.
I rose, and moved to her other side.
A moment passed,
and then, yes, she turned her head:
those eyes again,

that heart-shaped face. Today I wore
a white sweater
with small buttons the color of butter.

I know the summer
is being swallowed, bit by bright
green bit. And yet,
I found it strange, the way her face
turned toward mine,
as though I were accomplice to
vanished lovers,
unblue skies, frozen lakes, or fate.

Ron Kolm

Ron Kolm is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin. Ron is the author of Divine Comedy, Suburban Ambush, Night Shift, A Change in the Weather, Welcome to the Barbecue and Swimming in the Shallow End. He’s had work in And Then, The Café Review, Gathering of the Tribes, Great Weather for Media, Maintenant, Live Mag!, Local Knowledge, NYC From the Inside, The Opiate, the Poets of Queens anthology, Public Illumination Magazine, The Red Wheelbarrow, the Riverside Poets Anthology, The Silver Tongued Devil anthology, Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts Omnibus and the Brownstone Poets anthologies. Ron’s papers were purchased by the New York University Library.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Ron Kolm and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Hooked on Junk Food

Me and my teenage friends
Run through the neighborhood
McDonald’s, swiping food
From startled customers’ trays.
We speed across the street
Fleeing sirens
And try to hide on a pier
Behind stacks of broken cars
But the cops finally figure out
Where we are,
So we jump onto a garbage scow
That’s pulling away from the dock
And wave at them
From our prison on the sea.


A Poetry Reading in Bushwick

A darkening sky gives warning
Hurrying me down
From the elevated subway platform
To the streets below.
A quiet neighborhood doesn’t mean
That it’s safe. A car slows
And the driver glares at me
Then accelerates and leaves
With a screech of tires.
Frightened, I duck into the building
Where the reading has already started.
The participants are very touchy feely
But they are also pretty good poets
So I exhale, and decide to stay.

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: